When I started my master study early 2007, immediately I got a fellowship from my university. A condition in the fellowship contract was to publish at least two journal papers, without mentioning which kind of journal. I was entirely new in this business, and I had nobody to guide me. When I got the first set of results from my research, I started writing a paper. At that time, I got an email from a journal inviting me to publish a paper. The publication price was so low, almost 50$. They wrote in the “About” page of the journal that the impact factor of the journal is 1.2. Immediately, I finish the paper and sent it to them. Surprisingly, after almost one day, they sent me an email, Congratulations, your paper has been accepted! Without any review !!
I was so happy, to have my first paper getting published. There was nobody to tell me that you have to check the impact factor and the quality of the journal from WoS. Anyway, after few years, I realized what the problem is. In fact, I regret about those papers published in those journals. The quality and the content of the papers was not bad.
After these years, I started writing for impact factor or high-quality journals. However, still those papers are like a nightmare in my academic life, and they came back to me from time to time. The sad thing in academia is, people are looking at you negative points. I have to say that those papers were negative points in my academic career but that is just an early stage trial for publication. I have been rejected in many job application partially because of them. I got negative feedback like “The applicant has published in fake journals” One of my grant application also rejected recently because the reviewer took a bad impression on me and he said, “this investigator has many papers published in the fake journal.” Well, as I said they are not many, they are just four papers.
In fact, there are different kind of fake journals and quality journals nowadays. Fake journals are well-known now. If they are not listed in WoS, then my advice is to do not publish because it does not count for you. There is one good trick that I like to do sometimes. There are many good journals listed in Elsevier or WoS, and they did not get impact factor yet. Most of the time, those journals are published papers in open access style. Here, you will get two benefits. First, you will get better citation since they are open access, and second, they will get impact factor soon since they are open access and following peer review process.
So, don’t make the mistake that I did in my academic life. I’m trying to erase them as much as I can by taking care of my papers and my work. I believe that putting more efforts in your job, taking care about what you are doing, update your self, be honest and love what you do, then finally people will appreciate and recognize you.